lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009

“Up”. Up it goes!

Yesterday night, I went to see “Up” with a friend. OMG… what a wonderful film! It’s in times like this that you don’t regret paying 7’50€ for the cinema… but the total opposite. Up is the kind of film anyone can watch: from the old to the “smaller” people, all of them being able to not only deeply enjoy it, but feel identified by the characters.

Up is both a technical masterpiece and a wonderful and unexpected story. As I’ve read somewhere, it flies high, leaving us spectators with the sense of the money and time well spent. It makes you go from laughs to tears in seconds, along with delightful moments of cuteness, surprise, tenderness, and disappointment (only from some of the characters attitudes, mind you), all wrapped up in a brilliant and simple narrative.

The story is about Carl Fredricksen, a widower and former balloon salesman with a square head that looks ready for giving a hard time to anyone careless enough to disturb. But Carl isn’t your typical American animated hero. He’s 78, to begin with, and the years have taken their toll on his mournful body and spirit, scenes which open the film and let you teary-eyed for a while. Eventually a bouquet of balloons sends Carl and his house soaring into the sky, where they go up, up and away and off to an adventure in South America as a promise he made to his dead wife years and years ago with the sole company of a lost (in many senses) boy scout.

Film making and story-telling in its purest style is wonderfully demonstrated in the first 10 minutes of the film, in which we get to meet Carl from his childhood, enthusing over black-and-white newsreel images of his hero in a very NO-DO way (with Matías Prats voice, of all), a world-famous aviator and explorer, Charles Muntz . Shortly, Carl meets Ellie, a hyper-talker, would-be adventurer who, a few edits later, becomes his beloved wife, an adult relationship that the director manages to brilliantly compress into four wordless minutes during which the couple dream together, face crushing disappointment and grow happily old side by side.

I think one of my favorite scenes is the one in which Carl finally soars up in his house, up to the adventure he long-postponed. Out of complete surprise, we get to see how tons of colourful balloons erupt from his chimney, elevating the house to the sky, as well as the spirits of all of us watching. Paired with this scene in my likeness is the one, a mere minute later, that features a little girl jumping in giddy delight as the house rises in front of her large picture window, the sunlight through the balloons daubing her room with bright color. Brilliantly lovely.

Recommendation… do I really need to say it? I already have the flying house as my computer screen picture. Enough said.

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